One of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers, Orora, aims to save up to 15% of its energy as part of an ambitious 3 year plan.

One of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers, Orora, aims to save up to 15% of its energy as part of an ambitious 3 year plan developed with the support of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Orora manufactures packaging for a large number of New Zealand’s favourite consumer food and beverage brands.

The initiative, announced in Auckland today by Orora Managing Director and CEO Nigel Garrard and EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill, will target annual energy savings of 11.8 GWh – the equivalent annual energy use of about 1,130 households.

“We have already invested heavily in energy efficiency improvements in our Australian operations, and benchmarking our New Zealand operations against these have shown that there is potential to make significant energy savings in New Zealand too,” Nigel Garrard says.

Nigel Garrard says energy efficiency is a fundamental part of running a sustainable business. The initiative is expected to reduce the New Zealand arm of a global packaging company’s annual carbon dioxide reductions by 1,600 tonnes, comparable to the annual carbon emissions of about 580 typical NZ cars.

“At Orora, we challenge ourselves to do things differently and seek out innovation, sustainability and energy efficiency is an example of that approach,” Nigel Garrard says.

“Our recent experience implementing energy efficiency programs in Australia has demonstrated that in addition to saving on energy costs, other benefits such as increasing output, improving working environments and greater engagement with staff can also be realised.”

Orora will invest approximately $2 million towards optimising energy used for compressed air, warehouse lighting, and motorised systems, as well as reducing energy used in process and space heating.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill says a group-wide energy management agreement can help organisations to establish a comprehensive energy management plan that makes energy work harder and smarter for their business.

“Orora will be one of a growing number of New Zealand large companies signed up to group-wide energy management agreement with EECA, and are achieving excellent savings across their operations. 

“New Zealand companies are realising that good energy management is part of a smart and sustainable business approach. Many of these savings are easy to achieve, but you have to go after them in a structured way. Businesses are often surprised at opportunities to save money and improve operations that have been sitting under their noses.”

It is estimated New Zealand firms could collectively save the country $1.6 billion in costs every year through technology upgrades and process-improvement.

Orora has committed to an investment program to support energy efficiency projects that will run over the next three years. Its energy efficiency team is conducting energy audits of each New Zealand manufacturing plant to identify energy saving opportunities, both operational and technical.

With over 700 employees spread across six sites across the North and South Islands, the company will introduce a training program to improve energy efficiency procedures and awareness amongst staff. The outcomes of the initiative are also expected to provide a more productive working environment for its staff.

Nigel Garrard says taking an innovative approach to better energy management will unlock potential improvements in output and productivity.

“We know that our customers are looking for suppliers that take sustainability seriously. Improving our energy efficiency is a key area where we can make an impact. This is part of our commitment to being a customer-led packaging company.”

Mike Underhill says energy efficiency makes good business sense because it will reduce costs, improve productivity, lower carbon emissions and ultimately boost the bottom line.

Facts at a glance:

  • Orora to invest approximately $2 million in a group-wide energy management plan
  • Expected to save 11.8 GWh energy (6.7 GWh of electricity and 5.1 GWh of natural gas) and 1600 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
  • Initiative will reduce energy use in compressed air, warehouse lighting, and motorised systems, process and space heating.